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So they’ve survived the drop but Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia has quit the north-east side. Steve Bruce is the early front-runner to take over the reins.

Villarreal general manager Jose Manuel Llaneza has claimed the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid over Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini.

Pellegrini announced earlier on Monday that he had not been contacted by new Real president Florentino Perez about taking charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Llaneza has now stated that the Villarreal boss is set to replace Juande Ramos.

It is understood that negotiations have been progressing for the last few days and the clubs have settled on a €4million compensation fee.

“It is logical that between two clubs that maintain good relations a deal was going to be closed,” Llaneza is quoted as saying by AS.

“I can state that a provisional agreement has been reached between two clubs that are friendly and even more now that they have a new president.

“It is, of course, a blow to Villarreal and is a difficult and complicated time for us, but now we will start working on our task of finding a new coach.”

Llaneza is confident of bringing in an worthy replacement for Pellegrini, who has been at El Madrigal for five years.

He said: “A great coach is leaving the club through the front door and now we hope that we can find another great coach to replace him.”

So they’ve survived the drop but Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia has quit the north-east side. Steve Bruce is the early front-runner to take over the reins.

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